Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Using stuff up.

There are two main emotional responses to using stuff up:
Glass half full: "Yay, I've been using the same bottle of soap forever, now I can go and buy a different smelling one! New soap flavour!!!"

Glass half empty: "Sigh, now I have to remember to get another bottle of detergent."

Monday, September 28, 2009

Boredom is a luxury

Those who have to struggle to survive or who are going through suffering don't get bored. Boredom is a luxury.

Self service checkouts.

  • You don't get asked for flybuys
  • You can bag your own stuff at your own speed in your own way
  • Early on there was novelty
  • Early on there was no queue because most people were afraid or objected to them

  • The bagging area always rejects my backpack, so I have to stack then pack.
  • Now the novelty has caught on with a whole lot of people who have no idea how to navigate the system, so they take 4 times longer than if they let a professional do it for them at a regular checkout. They clog up the whole show.

Beauty sleep

Further to my previous post on the benefits of going to bed early:

Hopefully, going to bed early means you will be more rested, which means less bags and dark shadows under the eye area and a bigger smile on your face in the morning :)

Ready Steak Cook as a promotional vehicle

If you need a bit of self-promotion to do, whether you are an aspiring designer, musician, actor, model, author or simply self-employed, consider appearing on Ready Steady Cook. That's free air-time for you and your product!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

How to buy clothes - an extra detail

I've been thinking a bit more about my previous post, and I've realised there's a bit more to the thought process. When I think about price, I also think:

1. How many in my size are left?
If there's heaps, can I wait for it to go on sale (and risk not finding my size during sale time) or do I really need it now? If there's only one or two left, should I just pay the current price?

2. Is this item from a major retail chain?
If so, I'm usually willing to risk buying this during sale time as I can hopefully find my size in a few different stores.

Of course, the best situation is seeing something you love, waiting for it to go on sale and snapping up a bargain.

Other times, you try on something you love, and you realise it's the only one left in your size, time is not on your side for shopping around, and it's somewhat discounted (though not heavily or it's at full retail price). That's still a good purchase, although not as sweet as the former.

How to buy clothes

When I examine my washing basket, it's clear to me that I need to re-examine my criteria when it comes to buying clothes.

Currently, the criteria stands at this:

1. Does this suit my body shape according to Trinny & Susannah's "The Rules"?
2. How much is it?
3. Do I already have a similar item?
3. Do I already have a similar item in a similar colour?
4. What can I wear it with?
5. How often can I wear it?
6. Will it be hard to clean?
7. Do I need it?

And it usually stops there. But since I've realised I'm not a fan or ironing or hand washing, and that clothes that pill really quickly drive me nuts, I've had to add:

8. What is it made out of?
9. Do I need to handwash it?
10. Do I need to iron it?
11. Do I LOVE it?

If I'm willing to run the risk of pilling, and put in the effort of handwashing and/or ironing, then it must be a pretty amazing item of clothing!

UAI, where are they now?

In high school, the subliminal message was that the higher your UAI, the better your life will be, or at least a high UAI is your key to a successful life.

They should do a documentary on people who get 100 UAI (or >99.5) and record their life at different stages: the day they found out their results, then five years down the track, ten and twenty years. A bit like the 7-Up documentary series. It would be interesting.

Because we love food...

and we love you,

Jelssie are issuing an open invitation to join us at the Chinatown Night Markets tomorrow night.

We figure that among the possible dozens of readers of this blog, others might share our interest in (as Elsie says) "food, more food and fake Tiffany jewellery". We very much hope that none of you are weirdo stalkers who want to meet us in real life so that you can follow us around and stuff. But just in case some of you are, get in contact* and if we trust you we will let you know where and when we will be meeting.

* jess84th(at) is my least valuable email address. If you are a creepy random I will shut it down :)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Dust storms and the end of the world

Today's dust storm has certainly made life more interesting. There are some beautiful pictures out there.

It's made me realise that an unusual "natural" occurrence can lead people to think about the end of the world - even by non-Christians.

Use the dust storm as a topic of conversation: What do you think about "the end of the world"? Do you think it will happen one day?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A lack of grief observed.

A lot of celebrities have been dying. I have now perfected my emotional response. Here it is, for future reference.
When a celebrity dies I feel a bit surprised,
and I try and appreciate the moment
if it is a really historic death.
There you go! Maybe the media could use this as a template.

Monday, September 21, 2009


I am a fraud. In one area, at least.

I work as a graphic designer, which sounds like I know about technology and love macs. But I don't. I do not want an iphone. I'd like to change my ringtone to a TV theme song but I don't know how to load a new sound onto my nokia. Or get photos off it, for that matter (I took some photos on the weekend of a yellow VW beetle run into a pole). I can barely run this blog: it feels like a huge achievement to link something. I'm not very good at using word or powerpoint, but I think that's because they are not very good programs.

All I can really do is sync my ipod, upload from my camera, and use 3.5 design programs. I can blow you away on InDesign and iTunes, the rest is a sham!

That feels better.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

We're all individuals.

Things I kind of like, but other people don't.
  • Wind, rain and hail.
  • Giving blood.
  • Garlic breath. Mine.
Things I don't care much about, but other people love.
  • Phones, mobile phones, iphones, they are all boring.
  • Lipstick.
  • Butter.

Friday, September 18, 2009

A true friend will...

...discreetly point out to you your faux pas e.g.
- chocolate smeared on lips/face
- food and greenery stuck in your teeth/braces
- tell you your fly is undone
- tell you your eye make-up is reaching the emo part of the day/night. you a piece of cake at work if its your day off

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Comedians are the new Comic Sans. Part 2.

Comedians sell more stuff than cricketers. They sell gym memberships and high fiber breakfast cereals and financial services. Are funny people THAT trustworthy, that we choose ING because we like Billy Connolly?

My flatmates and I get Illawarra television—no idea why we don't get Sydney TV in the Eastern Suburbs. Or why we bother watching the local news. But we were totally amazed to see Jerry Seinfeld promoting the Greater Building Society. This is a regional building society that lures home loan customers with free holidays. Jerry Seinfeld, for real.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Simply Resistible.

There is food which is nice, but not irresistible. I don't have to eat it. Irresistible foods, I have to eat. Resistible foods, I don't have to eat.

Examples of Resistible foods:
Plain chips, even fancy deli brand sea salt ones
Crinkle cut chips in general
Soft drinks
Salsa dip
Fruit and nut chocolate

Examples of Irresistible foods:
Sweet chilli chips, or honey soy
Fresh bread in many forms.

Those are my lists, everyone has their own. It is important to remember the distinction, so that you don't waste stomach space or calories.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Lightbulb moments

When you are brought up by migrant parents, you will have moments in life when you realise things can be done differently. I share with you two lightbulb moments. "Stuff that never occurred to me before" moments:

- "What?! You add milk AND sugar to your tea? That's outrageous!" (my only experience of tea was black tea - think yum cha). The irony (?) is of course, pearl milk tea, which contains milk and sugar, is an Asian drink.

- "What?! You can cook rice in a saucepan on the stovetop? That's crazy talk!" (this is coming from someone who has only ever seen rice cooked in a rice cooker).

Friday, September 11, 2009

Soft standards.

There was a time, when I was young, that I wore trousers made of fleece. Tracksuit pants. Then I wore 'stirrups', a fitted trackpant style of trousers with an elastic strap under the feet. Then I became fashion concious, and for many years refused to own any stretchy soft trousers.

Then I decided they were OK for sleeping in.

Then I allowed myself a pair for exercise purposes.

Then I started wearing them around the house.

Then I started not getting changed to pop quickly to the shops.

I let myself wear track pants this whole week while recovering from my wisdom tooth extractions. This included sitting in a cafe, riding on public transport from Gosford to Kingsford, and now I am wearing them at work. I don't think I can promise to never wear tracksuit pants to work again.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Comedians are the new Comic Sans.* Part 1.

They are fun to listen to and don't have many opinions, so comedians have filled almost every niche in media. The career path of a comedian in Australia is now:
  1. Stand up gigs
  2. Stand up gig on Rove
  3. Contestant on Spicks and Specks
  4. Contestant on Thank God You're Here
  5. Regular segment in something on channel ten
  6. Radio host
  7. TV host
So as you can see there is no point doing a B. Communications (Journalism) if you want to be on television, you just have to get to know Rove!

*Ban Comic Sans.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Baking powder update!

Helen just informed me that baking powder does expire and lose its power!

Google supports me too. Why didn't I google it in the first place?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Gourmet work lunches.

With only a microwave and a sandwich press, I can cook nearly anything. My greatest success: a frozen meat pie (3 min in microwave, then crisp on hot sandwich press, top then bottom).

While we are on the subject of meat pies, the best frozen pies are Sergeants because they have the little tasty shortcrust logo on the lid.

I would also argue that pies are best enjoyed upside down. If eaten with a knife and fork 'dissection style', eat the base, sides and contents first, then spread sauce on the lid and eat it with your fingers, first around the edge then finishing with the tasty shortcrust logo.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Weird "fact" for the day.

While checking the American preferred spelling of percent/per cent on Wikipedia, I found out that:
Percent signs can also be used to make something seem more official and trustworthy. Example, the rapper 50 Cent originally was going to be 50%, but due to the nature of hip-hop, decided to go with a more gangster name.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Soup and oranges

A longer post than usual, but since it involves both parties of jelssie AND food, I decided it was okay.

When you have dinner in a Chinese restaurant, especially Cantonese ones, it's customary for you to be served complimentary soup before your main meal and some kind of complimentary dessert (e.g. sliced fruit, red bean dessert soup, biscuits) afterwards. Some places don't have it, so the trick is to work out which places do and which places don't. General rule of thumb: if they do yum cha during the day, they should do soup at night OR if they're trying to be a "proper" Chinese (Cantonese) restaurant, they should do soup as well.

Tonight, Jess and I decided to go to a local Chinese restaurant for dinner. I wasn't sure how good the restaurant was: the decor was very understated and there were no tablecloths, but all the customers were Asian, which we took as a good sign.

We were seated and it felt like we were in a country Chinese restaurant, except reversed, in that Jess was the only Caucasian person in it (whereas if we really were in the country, I'd be the only Chinese face in a sea of Caucasian faces).

They played Chinese restaurant music - you know, covers of famous Chinese songs without any vocals. I even saw one of the staff bring a whole uncooked fish for a diner to inspect before it was cooked. I should have taken these to be signs of a "proper" restaurant, but at the time, I did not. The decor threw me off.

We ummed and ahhed over the menu and finally settled on two dishes. Jess, naturally, ordered in English, and I decided to order in English as well (I kinda have this small fear of ordering in Chinese, that I won't understand what they'll say).

Now, I did not expect this place to be a free-soup-at-dinner kind of place, so my brain was not alerted to expect it. In truth, I usually forget about the free soup until it arrives.

However my powers of observation led me to realise that everyone else around me was drinking soup! Pre-dinner soup! At first I thought, "Oh, maybe it's because this isn't a proper restaurant and they ordered it. Or maybe because everyone else ordered a lot of dishes and we've only ordered two".

But I saw two young men with soup and only two dishes! And a lone diner with his soup! Then I realised we had been jipped of our soup!

I explained the soup and dessert custom to Jess and asked her to look at tables behind me and spy whether they too had pre-dinner soup. We debated over whether I should ask for soup or not. Jess didn't really care, but I did! It was the principle of the matter!

It's possible they forgot to bring us our pre-dinner soup. It's also possible they thought we wouldn't know about the pre-dinner soup custom given Jess isn't Chinese and I spoke to them in an Aussie accent, so they held it back.

So when our food arrived, I asked the waiter with a smile and very sweetly, "Can we have some soup please?". I thought he looked a bit sheepish, but the soup arrived and Jess declared it yum. So very well worth asking.

Our two pieces of orange arrived after our meal as well.

Moral of the story: order in Chinese whenever you can, and see if everyone else around you is having pre-dinner soup. If they are, so should you :)